Everyone loves summer because it is a season of fun and relaxation. What is not welcome is the extreme summer heat. Sometimes staying hydrated just isn’t enough to keep the body cool. Skin becomes irritated and damaged from the sun. Many people gorge on cold desserts which do not help cool their bodies down. The sudden cold drops internal temperatures causing our bodies to work hard bringing the temperatures back up. The end result is warmer bodies due to the work put into regulating temperatures .
Cooling spices, though, have a much more helpful impact. Part of Ayurvedic practices, these spices regulate pitta also known as the energy needed to regulate metabolism. Heat increases this energy leading to negative effects. . Below are five different spices that can be added to the diet during these next few months to counteract that.
1. Mint: Many of us have enjoyed the flavor of mint as it’s everywhere from dishes to gum. Full of menthol, mint helps release excess pitta. Menthol stimulates cold-sensitive receptors on the skin causing pores in the body to open, letting extra heat out [1,2]. Other benefits of mint include relief of indigestion and bad breath . It’s simple to add mint to dishes, drink as tea, or to take a leaf and chew on one.
2. Cilantro: This herb is at its best when raw. The oils that it contains soothe the burn of heat. It is frequently used as garnish for spicy dishes with the intention of taking the edge of heat off [1,2,4]. Cilantro is also known to relieve anxiety to the same effect as a low dose anti-anxiety drug . For your next meal, think of garnishing soup or dishes with cilantro.
3. Turmeric: This is the spice that gives mustard its distinct yellow color. It is also a constant in curries around the world . Though bitter, it is well-known that it is the bitterness that cleanses the body of the surplus heat . Another added benefit of turmeric is its antibiotic capabilities especially when combined with some honey. This concoction has been touted as the strongest natural antibiotic .
4. Cinnamon: This is a very well-known spice used in apple pies, chai lattes, and more. It works by balancing the amount of pitta produced. On hot days, cinnamon will counteract the heat and lower pitta. When winter comes, cinnamon can be used to warm the body and increase pitta . You can also expect lower cholesterol and lower blood sugar with just one gram or less of cinnamon a day .
5. Fennel Seeds: A popular mouth freshener, this spice has a distinct licorice flavor [1,8]. It has anti-inflammatory properties which counteracts the effects of raised pitta levels in the body . An added benefit for women is that it can help regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce menstrual cramps. . Fennel seeds are good as is or in tea.
There is no better way to combat heat than with cooling spices. They are safe and effective in helping your body stay cool internally with many more added benefits. This means that spices can do more than just what was listed in this article about helping with anxiety and lowering cholesterol. They can lower blood sugar, relieve acid reflux, and much more. These spices are also healthier alternatives to eating ice cream and other cold desserts. It’s summertime, explore and learn more about spices!
 6 Spices That’ll Keep You Cool on a Hot Day. NDTV Food. http://food.ndtv.com/health/summer-special-6-spices-that-cool-you-down-693270
 6 Herbs and Spices That Keep You Cool This Summer. Skinny Mom. http://www.skinnymom.com/6-herbs-and-spices-that-keep-you-cool-this-summer/
 Using Mint to Treat Upset Stomach. How Stuff Works. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/herbal-remedies/using-mint-to-treat-upset-stomach.htm
 The Top 8 Cooling Spices for Summer. Global Healing Center. http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/summer-spices/
 Anti-Anxiety Activity of Coriandrum Sativum Assessed Using Different Experimental Anxiety Models. Mahendra, Poonam, and Shradha Bisht. Indian Journal of Pharmacology 43.5 (2011): 574–577. PMC. Web.
 This “Golden Honey” Mixture is The Strongest Known Natural Antibiotic. Healthy Food House. http://www.healthyfoodhouse.com/this-golden-honey-mixture-is-the-strongest-known-natural-antibiotic/
 Cinnamon Reduces Blood Sugar and Cholesterol Levels. Life Enhancement. http://www.life-enhancement.com/magazine/article/914-cinnamon-reduces-blood-sugar-and-cholesterol-levels
 Got Cramps? Fennel’s Liquorice-Flavored Seeds Can Cure Menstrual Symptoms. Medical Daily. http://www.medicaldaily.com/got-cramps-fennels-liquorice-flavored-seeds-can-cure-menstrual-symptoms-248125